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I recently tried out creating bracelets, rings and letters out of loom bands and really like it. There are lots of Youtube videos available. My favourite (by now) are animal bracelets: I already created a rabbit and a cat bracelet:

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I tried out bands from three different firms, but so far all of them where quite good. It’s just interesting that all three smell differently. Also the original Rainbow looms are a bit more elastic (might increase the life time of the creations).

One good thing is the original Rainbow loom (a board with clips to create stuff out of the loom bands) and the metal hook. First I used some plastic hook, but especially when using more bands (for example in the animal-bracelets), it’s much more comfortable to use the metal hook. I also think that most of the plastic hooks will break after some creations…

Next thing I want to create are some figures that are useable as a key chain. And I also saw a video tutorial on smartphone covers. That might also be interesting!

Some of the bracelet-creations I have done so far:

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Do you know the computer game / app Bejeweled? In this game you have a board of jewels. The goal is to exchange neighbour jewels in order to get a row or column of (at least) three jewels of one colour. The app is quite nice, but in my opinion not a game I would want to play often.

During a shopping trip I came across the board game version of Bejeweled from Hasbro. Since it was really cheap (just 5€ instead of about 15€ at Amazon. The original price was even higher: about 35€), I bought it. After playing it for some days, I must say that I like the board game much more than the app. The rules are simple, the jewels look quite nice and I really like the switching of jewels and filling up the board again. Despite beeing for children age 8 up, even my four-year old son is able to play the game quite well. And we even play a much longer version: For every row/column of at least three jewels of the same colour you receive a token (up to four tokens for five jewels including one “special” sparkling jewel). In the original version, you win if you have three tokens in three colours. We play until one has three tokens in each of the seven available colours…

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Inside the box was also a download code for the pc version of Bejeweled. The best thing: The code could only be entered until the end of 2013 (even before people complained online that they were not able to enter the code somewhere…). BUT I managed to nevertheless enter the code: You should enter the code on some webpage from Hasbro (even some page from Popcap told you to go to this page). The page was still up, but just had a link to a page from Popcap. Of course: This one was not existing anymore.
But: Some Popcap page (the same saying you should enter your Bejeweled code on the Hasbro page!) said to enter all other codes in “Origin”. So I just tested downloading “Origin” and entering the code there. It was not only working, even better: Once I entered the code, I was even able to CHOOSE between about 5 or 6 different Popcap games (not just Bejeweled). Since I do not really like Bejeweled, I simply took another game. 🙂

So, never ever trust something to not work (even if a page or person says so), if you haven’t searched for another solution than the obvious one. And: Just think outside the box! 🙂

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Ich durfte das neue Langenscheidt Kinderbuch “Die Prinzessin und die Erbsen” aus der Ping Pong Reihe testen. Wenn man das Buch als erstes in die Hand nimmt , fällt einem als erstes das schöne Layout mit den toll gewählten Glitzereffekten auf (siehe Foto oben). Auch die Rezepte & Illustrationen auf der Umschlagseite sehen süß aus. Der erste Eindruck des Buches war somit schonmal positiv. Doch was viel wichtiger ist ja, ob die Geschichte bei Kindern auch ankommt und gerne gelesen wird. Die Geschichte ist nett, die Reimform ist mal etwas anderes und zur Abwechslung auch toll (solange es die Ausnahme bleibt). Schön finde ich auch den Bezug zum Märchen die Prinzessin auf die Erbse und ganz klar, die schönen Illustrationen: Diese sind aber nicht nur für Erwachsene sondern auch für Kinder ganz toll, weil viele Details enthalten sind und man immer etwas Neues entdecken kann (siehe Beispiel auf dem Foto unten). Was auch schön ist: Die Geschichte hat keinen belehrenden Charakter (was ich nach dem Lesen des Klappentextes erst befürchtet hat). Solche Pseudo-Belehrungs- und Beeinflussungsbücher, die am besten alle (Erziehungs-)fehler der Eltern ausbessern und die Kinder zu Ja-Sagenden, nicht selbst Denkendern erziehen sollen, finde ich wirklich schlimm…
Doch nun zur wichtigsten Bewertung: Meinem Sohn hat das Lesen des Buches Freude bereitet. Es zählt momentan nicht gerade zu seinen Lieblingsbüchern, was aber auch sehr schwer bei der großen Konkurrenz an Büchern in unseren Bücherregalen ist. 😉
Was mir etwas Negativ aufgefallen ist: Der Vorname der Hauptperson “Lily-Rose May”. Gut, moderne Namen und seltsame Dreifach- oder gar noch längere Namen scheinen gerade modern zu sein…
Fazit: Ein schön gestaltetes Buch, mit einer kurzweiligen Geschichte, was durch die vielen Details in den Illustrationen zum immer wieder Lesen einlädt und sicher auch vielen Erwachsenen Freude beim Lesen bereiten wird.

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A few weeks ago Playmobil published a new series in Germany: The Bavarian alp series: I bought two of the sets they offer: The cable railway with mountain station and a alpine cabin. Especially the alpine cabin is wonderful: There are two figure with ‘Lederhose’ and ‘Dirndl’ (traditional Bavarian costume), a card game, ‘Brotzeit’ trayes and, of course, ‘Maßkrüge’ (stein, glass for beer). Since the Maßkrüge were empty I filled them with yellow and white putty to imitate beer.
The next idea was to add some lights to the alpine cabin. So I just bought some LED light stripes: I used warm-white LED’s: In the ground floor there are 9 and in the top floor there are 3 LED’s. The LED stripes I bought have bonding sheed on the back and you just simply need to add some cable on plus and minus pole and attach it to 12 V DC voltage. So I also bought a power supply to get the desired input voltage. You can buy the stripe in long length and you are able to cut them after every 3 LED’s (so after every 3 LED’s there is a plus and minus pole). To attach the cable and fix it in the desired place is simple and easy (took me about have an hour) and is not expensive (11€ for the LED stripes, 10 for the power supply cable). And the effect is quite cool (just have a look on the pictures). I am also thinking to add some stripes on other places. 😉

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Soon the ‘Oktoberfest’ (a big and very popular folk festival with beer tents and lots of carnival rides in Munich) will start again. Besides beer you can get delicious food like the popular Bavarian veal sausage with pretzel and mild mustard. So this fabric set of Bavarian veal sausage, pretzel and mild mustard is a must-have for Bavarians. The two little sausages are also magnetic. I think this set is really nice and looks kind of realistic!

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Infant’s tissue box

You need an empty tissue carton box, self-sticking film (transparent or coloured), a cutter and some minutes time. Take the self-sticking film and cut it into pieces, so that you can put it on all the tissue box sides. Make sure that you do not put the film over the hole of the tissue box! Whe you are ready with that, you can put things, e.g. a fabric or wood pieces, into the box.

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infants oball

The oball is an infants toy, but it can be used of all ages. It is a flexible plastic ball with many holes. You are able to deform it a bit, but it gets his original form back. The infant can catch it pretty easy and can roll or throw it away, because the oball is very lightweight.

(The photo is edited by the ImageToAscii app)

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